The RPG genre is a tough one to peg down on the iPhone. The problem with the genre is that different people want such different things out of it. Some people want long, drawn out Final Fantasy type games while others want something that is a bit more simple. There is just too much flavor for one genre to be fairly condensed into four games, but I have unwavering beliefs and strong opinions. I like my RPG's full-bodied with rich undertones. I want a hint of vanilla and oak. Give me harsh tannins!
Ok, I got a bit carried away there. Here are my favorite new(ish) RPG's of the moment. I decided that the genre is too deep to include games that were released before I can remember (which could be yesterday, could be a year ago). All of these apps are ones that are currently on my iPhone, and I am currently enjoying immensely. If I left something off the list and you are offended, I am sorry. That's all I can offer.
Caligo Chaser - I picked this app up the other day to possibly do a review (which we did right here -- Ed.) and immediately gagged a little. The controls seemed uninspired and the graphics seemed pretty weak, but since the game was made by my favorite dev, Com2uS, I decided to march on. As I played, things started to become more bearable, until one day I found myself sitting on my bathroom counter playing while waiting for my water to heat up. At least that's what I told myself. Living in Phoenix has its perks, and one of them is water that is instantly hot.
Sure, the combat system isn't the best, the inventory/upgrade menu isn't the prettiest or the easiest to see, there are some obvious typos (as opposed to my hidden ones), and the story takes a while to get in to, but it all comes together. The final result is a fun RPG that will bring you back to the wonderful days of old school Super Nintendo gaming. Just give it a try and force yourself to play for 30 min, you won't regret it.
Rimelands: Hammer of Thor - Unlike Caligo Chaser which took a while to get into, Rimelands sucks you in right away and doesn't let go. It has excellent graphics, a fun story, a great upgrade tree, and a surprisingly good control system. I usually don't like to go on limbs and declare bests of for this and that, but Rimelands has the best control system for an iPhone RPG I've ever played. I love it.
If you are so inclined to try it out, expect a blend of Fallout 1+2 and Diablo, with maybe a hint of Baldur's Gate. Maybe I'm just blown away by Rimeland's polish, but I think this is truly a game that would do well on any platform.
The War of Eustrath - I have a personal vendetta against The War of Eustrath, and it is there because I played this game for hours on end and then got stuck on the last boss. Maybe I didn't level my character up enough throughout, maybe I pumped too much juice into characters who die at the end. For whatever reason, I'm having one heck of a hard time beating Eustrath.
Behind the somewhat generic top-down graphics and crummy dialogue, there is an excellent game here. The dialogue is horrifically bad though, with emotions flying from one scene to the next. The game comes complete with a love triangle, family secrets, god-like conquests, a poor country girl becomes hero side story, mythical beings, death, a bunch of suicide. You'll find yourself sucked into the games anti-charisma, and by the end, you'll start having visions of Elijah Wood crying, scene after scene, while he's trying to get to the top of Orodruin. If nothing else, Eustrath should definitely be described as "epic."
Chaos Rings - If you don't like Chaos Rings, you definitely don't like RPG's. It's so pretty, has such a good story, and has an amazing combat system that it just begs to be played for hours on end.
From our review, "I do not hesitate to claim that Chaos Rings has the potential to change iDevice gaming as we know it, and for the better. If and when people commit to paying for quality, this game will be that new standard to meet."
Bravo, Square Enix, bravo.